Digital Vision Experts (DIVE)
Quality assurance as an elementary component of production processes, e. g. in semiconductor manufacturing and surface finishing processes, often does not meet the desired requirements. This manifests itself in merely random inspections, time-consuming subjective visual inspections or even the complete abandonment of quality assurance measures due to the lack of adequate inspection technologies.
The semiconductor industry also has to face this global challenge. Existing quality specifications with tolerated defect rates of 1:1 million (in relation to the output of chips) are highly critical, especially for safety-relevant applications such as automotive and aerospace, and are to be successively converted into a "zero defect rate", whereby consequential costs of several tens of millions of euros per production site can be avoided. The specific user problem is contamination and residues on wafers and films, e. g. from mechanical or wet-chemical process steps, which cannot be detected with known inspection technologies.
DIVE foundation project: Goals and procedure
The founding team of DIVE (DIVE: digital vision experts) is now ready to offer a revolution in machine vision - hyperspectral vision technology – as a suitable inspection technology on the market that meets the requirements of the semiconductor industry in particular. The DIVE technology combines the advantages of classical imaging with the chemical-physical analysis possibilities of spectroscopy, which - coupled with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) methods for analyzing large amounts of data - makes it possible to "see" and thus qualify or quantify previously inaccessible properties of surfaces.
With the EXIST research transfer we will permanently and sustainably establish the technology for an industrial application in the field of surface and layer inspection after 10 years of development at the Fraunhofer IWS. In addition to the development of hardware solutions, AI-based data analysis using proprietary software will become one of the core competencies in the DIVE portfolio. Both the sale of inspection equipment and software and services in the field of highly complex data analysis are parts of the DIVE business model. For the European market alone, DIVE is estimated to have a market volume of 400 million euros.
DIVE sees itself as an integrator, optimizing and integrating commercial components with its own hardware know-how for industrial surface and layer inspection, combined with its own software suite to quickly and easily extract target information from complex hyperspectral vision data. Our customers will permanently benefit from our unique hyperspectral vision solutions, coupled with innovative digital services and long-term support. Likewise, DIVE's accumulated knowledge enables rapid development of customized inspection solutions.
The EXIST program enables DIVE to establish its business model, increase visibility and build an industry network.